Traffic cop’s racial discrimination suit can help make Kansas City police more just | Opinion

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Facebook/Kansas City Missouri Police Department

Courageous voice

Edward Williams is a hero. After 21 years with the Kansas City Police Department, he is making it clear that past and present leaders of the force are allegedly ignoring the laws of the state. (March 27, 1A, “Lawsuit describes police racial profiling, illegal ticket quotas”)

This traffic control officer has brought to light what has been done in secret to deny ordinary people, who happen to be Black, their rights to live in peace. We need more people of courage to address these evil practices. This is the only way we can have a city where all people are equal.

- Mary Eick, Gladstone

Tax seesaw

How much longer will Jackson County homeowners be victimized by the assessor’s office? Every year, it raises our values. We complain, and then the new charges disappear — until next year.

This needs to be addressed once and for all. Somebody, get on the stick. I’m talking to you, County Executive Frank White.

- Bob Berry, Oak Grove

For the future

I’m excited to ride the KC Streetcar to the Country Club Plaza and the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus next year. The streetcar has broad appeal and is effective at getting people out of their cars and into Kansas City’s businesses, parks and neighborhoods.

Kansas City used to have one of the most extensive streetcar systems in North America, and I would love to see its revitalization.

There is a great way to fund the streetcar and other projects that would help achieve the goals of the city’s Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan: the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, part of the federal Inflation Reduction Act. This is a $27 billion fund, and a percentage of its grants must benefit disadvantaged communities, which could help to ensure streetcar expansion is done equitably.

But to access this funding, our elected officials need to apply for it.

We encourage Mayor Quinton Lucas to apply for one of these grants to help transition Kansas City to a zero-carbon, more equitable and more livable future.

Revitalizing the streetcar is just the beginning. The Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan is packed with equity-centered solutions to achieve the best Kansas City possible. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is one key to start unlocking these solutions.

- Jeff Smith, Kansas City

Not a solution

The 2023 Credit Card Competition Act is harmful to consumers because it aims to expand to credit cards the 2010 Durbin Amendment (part of the Dodd-Frank Act), which requires the Federal Reserve to cap debit card transaction interchange fees and mandates routing requirements for all debit card payment networks. (Aug. 5, 2022, 6A, “Fight Wall Street banks with credit card competition”)

The CCCA would restrict credit card issuers with more than $100 billion in assets from processing transactions on the two largest credit card networks. The proposed act would also prohibit networks that have affiliated companies with the credit card issuer from processing purchases, posing a major security risk to consumers’ transactions that would go through untested credit card processors.

CCCA sponsors Sens. Roger Marshall of Kansas and Dick Durbin of Illinois cited the Visa-Mastercard duopoly as the primary problem they are trying to solve. However, introducing market competition is not necessarily beneficial for consumers. The 2010 Durbin Amendment also promised benefits for consumers, but a 2014 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond proved that this didn’t happen.

If the CCCA were passed into law, Kansas’ 777,941 credit union members would likely experience reduced access to affordable credit, and it would risk millions of consumers’ data privacy, exposing them to potential fraud.

- Caroline Willard, President and CEO, Cornerstone Credit Union League, Plano, Texas

Editor’s note: Cornerstone League is a 501(c)(6) trade association serving approximately 700 credit unions in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.